The Carolingians in Central Europe, Their History, Arts, and Architecture: A Cultural History of Central Europe, 750-900

The Carolingians in Central Europe, Their History, Arts, and Architecture: A Cultural History of Central Europe, 750-900

The Carolingians in Central Europe, Their History, Arts, and Architecture: A Cultural History of Central Europe, 750-900

The Carolingians in Central Europe, Their History, Arts, and Architecture: A Cultural History of Central Europe, 750-900

Synopsis

This book presents an historical overview of the Frankish realms in Central Europe during the Carolingian period. Against this background Part II of the book examines the cultural inventory deposited by the scribal culture in Central Europe as represented by manuscripts, crystals, ivories and gem encrusted liturgical art. Part III deals with such examples of Carolingian wall painting and architecture as are still evident in Central Europe. Though some examples are derivative, many are original. To reflect the splendor of the objects and surfaces discussed in Parts II and III, the book is lavishly ornamented with pertinent color illustrations. Black and white illustrations generally serve the representation of architecture.

Excerpt

The literature concerning the Carolingians has reached nearly unassessable proportions. An attempt to offer a comprehensive treatment will be frustrated. Even though the sources concerning this period are much less archeological and more decidedly literary, new directions and approaches, new specializations, new emphases, even new findings have lent to the body of traditional knowledge a kaleidoscopic quality. Since this book is a continuation of much previously published work, especially The Germanic Realms in Pre-Carolingian Central Europe, 400–750 and Tools, Weapons and Ornaments, Germanic Material Culture in Pre-Carolingian Central Europe, the conditions preparing the advent of the Carolingians have already been outlined. The book continues to be an investigation into the material culture against an introductory background to historical developments tracing the formation of the Carolingian realm, at the end of which the beginnings of a coherent cultural history of Central Europe will begin to crystallize. The attempt will be made to trace the consolidation of their holdings, observe their establishment of the realm, their very complex attempts to expand, unify and maintain it as a Christian dominion, only to accommodate the internal and external crises by resorting to an administrative partition of their empire in order to maximize the available regional resources. Only as a result of the partition will the eastern kingdom evolve towards an identi fiable Central European entity. As was pointed out earlier, the advent of the Carolingians also entails a horizon in the funerary inventories: with the completed Christianization the funerary inventories have been discontinued. As a result the material evidence has changed. In contrast with the previous volumes, which dealt primarily with artifacts and generally unwritten evidence, this book will examine pictorial aspects of the illuminated literature. Instead of the earlier portable art, which was part of grave inventories, the emphasis now rests on the products of the more private cloister arts deposited in the libraries and treasuries of Central Europe. These represent primarily the portable arts of the monastic, scribal culture—largely religious, illuminated manuscripts, surviving examples of secular literature, and such examples of Carolingian liturgical art as is represented by ivories, engraved . . .

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